Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bull Cr., Silver Cr. trails re-open today (Oct. 1) to motorbikes & non-motorized use N. of Crouch, ID

42 culverts were installed along the trails to reduce erosion.
Hi all, 

Twenty-two miles of Bull Creek and Silver Creek trails reopen today (Oct. 1) to motorcycle and non-motorized use following extensive trail work by several public agencies and recreation groups. The trails had been closed for two years to rehabilitate the trails, install culverts and a bridge, and brush and clear the trail. 

The trail project, located in the Emmett Ranger District of the Boise National Forest, was a partnership project with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Boise National Forest, Trails Unlimited, Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association, Squaw Butte Backcountry Horsemen, and the Emmett Rough Riders ATV Club.  

The singletrack trails are open for motorcycle and non-motorized recreation use to provide for sustainable and manageable opportunities while reducing impacts to natural resources and watershed values. ATV or UTV use of the trails is prohibited. 
New 35-foot bridge before, above, and after, below. 

All told, the reconstruction project included:
  • Installing 42 arched culverts throughout the 22-mile-long trail system. The culverts will improve drainage on the trails and reduce trail erosion. 
  • Rerouting 10 sections (3 major) of the trail network. 
  • Building a 35-foot bridge
  • Building a 40-foot-long retaining wall
  • Connecting the upper Bull Creek Trail with the Rice Peak Trail for a longer ride opportunity that extends into the Cascade Ranger District, and other public trails near Stolle Meadows. 
  • Completing extensive brushing and clearing of the trail width and tread. 
Treasure Valley TMA volunteered weekend work over a two-year period for many project tasks. In addition, the Squaw Butte Backcountry Horsemen volunteered with trail clearing. The Emmett Rough Riders ATV Club volunteered to do trail clearing on the Telephone Ridge Trail, which was key to equipment hauling and better access to the upper Bull Creek Trail.

The trail system will be seasonally designated for use from July 1 through November 14. Further information is available by contacting the Emmett Ranger District at 208-365-7000, or by going to Search for Bull Creek Trail or Silver Creek Trail to check on seasonal restrictions. 

Heavy-duty trail-rehab on the Bull Creek Trail 

Friday, September 7, 2012

5 new tips for OHV hunters in Idaho ... online maps, videos and more ... Have a great hunt!

Hi all,

The Idaho OHV Public Outreach Campaign has created a new web page for hunters who use off-highway vehicles to reach their camps and hunting areas. We wanted to share our 5 tips for a safe and legal hunting experience in Idaho. According to the latest survey, more than 70 percent of the 240,000 people who hunt big game in the state of Idaho (residents and nonresidents) use OHVs as part of their hunt.

The big challenge when you're an OHV rider during hunting season is to figure out what hunting units and specific trails are open to OHV use. It's not enough to just check on the U.S. Forest Service
or BLM travel plan map. You also have to check the Idaho Department of Fish and Game hunting regulations.

Our tips are meant to help demystify that admittedly challenging process. At least more of these resources are online than ever before.

Here you go:

1. Do your homework and know what specific areas or hunting units are open to OHVs during big game hunting seasons ... Good sources of information:
2. Stay on designated trails. Cross-country riding is illegal on most Forest Service and BLM lands, and it is destructive to the environment. Responsible riders know that.     

3. Use your trail machine to scout for game and access your hunting camp, but it's illegal to shoot big game animals from your OHV. (Hunters with a disabled permit are exempt from this rule). 

4. Utility Terrain Vehicles wider than 50 inches are not allowed on ATV trails or singletrack trails. UTVs wider than 50 inches should travel on dirt roads and/or two-track roads that are open during hunting season.

5. Park your OHV if you need to leave a trail or road to retrieve a big game animal. 

We hope you have a safe and productive hunt! Please feel free to share this information with your hunting buddies. And if you have feedback on our tips, please let us know! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Road from Warren to South Fork Salmon River to be closed July 31 - August 14

Sharing news from the Payette National Forest ... 

McCall, ID - The Forest Service will be replacing the Mayflower culvert with a fish friendly “Aquatic Organism Passage” box culvert two miles east of Warren on Warren Wagon Road (#340) next week. The road will be closed at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, and will remain closed through August 14. During the construction project, the road will be closed to all motorized travel, however foot traffic will be allowed.

During the closure period the public will not be able to drive from Warren to the South Fork of the Salmon River. The closure points will be at the junction of Warren Wagon Road (#340) and Pony Meadows Road (#359) and at Warren Summit. During the road closure, alternate access to the area east of Warren Summit will be via Yellow Pine and Big Creek. 

There may be delays of up to 2 hours from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, July 30 while the contractor moves equipment in and starts preparing the site.  Please call Will Perry with questions or concerns at 208-634-0767 or visit the PNF Road Conditions Page at:


Tuesday, July 10, 2012 now has 40+ OHV rides to share, including 2 new rides in the Owyhee Mountains

Riding on the front side of the Owyhee Mountains. (Courtesy Boise  ATV Trail Riders)
It might be the desert, but there are many streams that flow in the spring, fall and winter.  (Courtesy Boise  ATV Trail Riders)

Hi all,

We've just added two new rides to the web site, which now features 41 ATV and motorbike rides on our where-to-ride page. Each ride has a detailed description and map, and some have photos and video.

All of the rides come recommended from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation and local OHV clubs.

The latest additions to the ride list -- two rides in the Owyhee Mountains -- come from the Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association (TVTMA). Many thanks to club officers Steve Frisbie and Mark Weaver for providing the base maps and details about these rides.

TVTMA has a fun run each spring, typically in May. Watch their web site for the timing and details on next year's ride. The two rides featured on came from the 2010 Fun Runs.

The ATV Fun Run course is approximately 30 miles long. Here's the trip map. The ride starts and finishes by the Chalky Butte Trailhead in the Owyhee Front, near Hemingway Butte.

The Motorbike Fun Run course is 27.5 miles long. Here's the trip map. The ride starts and finishes by the Diamond Basin Corrals Trailhead, accessed from the road to Silver City near Murphy.

Both of these rides are meant to provide an introduction to riding OHVs on the front side of the Owyhee Mountains. These are literally hundreds miles of trails in the front side of the Owyhees, and several different trailheads to use, including Rabbit Creek, Chalky Butte, Fossil Butte and Kane Springs.

To see a big-picture view of the trails in the Owyhee Front, check out the BLM map.

The best time to ride these trails is in the fall, winter and spring. So when you're itching to get out on a ride, and the trails are still snowbound in your neck of the woods, consider traveling to the Owyhees to get an early start on your riding season in the springtime. You can camp at the trailheads, or you could stay in Nampa or Boise.

Beyond the rides we offer on, be sure to check out IDPR's interactive trail site for OHV riders to research new trails to check out statewide.

In other Idaho OHV news, the BLM Challis Field Office, in partnership with the Great Basin Institute and IDPR, won the 2012 Coalition for Recreational Trails Award for the Lombard Trail Project, located in Land of the Yankee Fork State Park. This is great news, and a very deserving project. Thanks to the Boise ATV Trail Riders for providing a write up on the award.

Here's a YouTube video of the Lombard Trail -- it's open to motorbikes and ATVs, and it takes you from the state park entrance area south of Challis to the mountains high above the valley and connects to the mines around the ghost town of Bayhorse nearby. It's a super-cool ride.

Save the date: The annual Ride to Bayhorse ATV event in Challis is set for Aug. 17-19 this year. See this link for more details. Here's a chance to experience the Lombard Trail, Bayhorse, Land of the Yankee Fork State Park, and tons of other motorbike and ATV trails in the vicinity.

Have fun and ride safe!
- SS

Monday, June 4, 2012

University of Idaho conducts survey on ATVs and hunting; your input is welcome

Hi all, 

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is in the process of revising its rules regarding the use of motorized off-highway vehicles (ATV's, UTV's, motorbikes) and hunting. To get a better understanding of how the state's hunters and OHV users feel about the issue, the University of Idaho's Department of Conservation Social Sciences is conducting a survey. 

The survey has been mailed to a random sample of 4,000 people in Idaho who are either hunters or the owners of an off-highway vehicle. The survey asks participants about their experiences using or encountering OHV's while hunting, and how they feel about restrictions on OHV use during hunting season. 

As many people know, these are divisive issues among hunters and OHV users. More than 50 percent of licensed resident hunters in Idaho now use OHV's as part of their hunting trips, according to IDFG officials. 

University of Idaho officials say that if you would like to express your views on OHV's and hunting in Idaho, go to this web link and fill out the survey. It is supposed to take less than 5 minutes. 

Thank you. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Six new OHV rides to explore in Idaho

The distribution of 39 OHV rides in Idaho ... 
Hi all,

The Idaho Off-Highway Vehicle Public Outreach Campaign has been updating the StayonTrails web site with some new rides, and we're happy to report that we've got six new rides to share for the 2012 riding season, with several more to come.

On our Where-to-Ride page, we now have 39 rides total. Each ride has a detailed written description with directions to the trailhead, and a trip map. These rides complement the new Idaho OHV online trails map, which provides online access to some 18,000 miles of trails in Idaho statewide.

We've added three new rides in Southeast Idaho near Montpelier, courtesy of recommendations by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and three new rides near Salmon, Idaho, thanks to recommendations by the Bureau of Land Management and local OHV riders.

One of the rides in Salmon provides a 39-mile tour of the Lewis & Clark Backcountry Byway. This one is a dandy for history buffs. The single-lane dirt road surface is suitable for motorbikes, ATVs, UTVs and regular trucks and cars. The ride starts and finishes in the beautiful Lemhi Valley, where Sacajawea was born as a member of the Lemhi band of the Shoshone Indians, or the AgaiDika Shoshone. 
Where the dirt roads meet at the saddle above is 7,373-foot Lemhi Pass. 
The ride takes OHV riders to Lemhi Pass atop the Continental Divide, where you can easily imagine how things may have looked to Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery, when they peered over the west side of the divide for the first time and saw lots of big mountains and no clear path to the Pacific Ocean. The Shoshone told them that they couldn't safely travel to the Pacific via the Salmon River because it was too rocky, it had too many rapids, and they'd certainly drown trying to get through. Instead, they recommended going to the Pacific via the Nez Perce buffalo trail and Lolo Pass, which turned out to be a grueling route through dense timber with very little game. I'm sure many of you know the story. 

The late author Stephen Ambrose, who penned the excellent book Undaunted Courage, wrote that Lemhi Pass was his favorite spot along the Lewis and Clark Trail. He camped there with his family on July 4, 1976. "It was the most glorious night of our lives," he wrote. "You could reach out and touch the stars. Except for a logging road, the place was unchanged since Lewis was there."

You can camp there, too! If you come to Salmon, you also need to visit the Sacajawea Center, a museum and outdoor park near Salmon. Here's a link to the BLM brochure about the backcountry byway. Oh, and by the way, there's a hot springs nearby that you can visit before or after the ride.
Trailhead at Discovery Hill. Photo courtesy BLM
Discovery Hill is a cool riding area just a few minutes from downtown Salmon. We featured a 20-mile tour of the Discovery Hill area in the detailed ride, and once you've done that ride, you can explore many other trails in the vicinity. The trails in the Discovery Hill area are old dirt roads, so they're suitable for any OHV use.  The base of the Discovery Hill area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, also contains the Sacajawea Motor Sports Park, where people can practice hill-climbing and test their skills.

Freeman Peak lords over the Freeman Creek Trail.
The Freeman Creek Trail is the third ride featured in Salmon. It's a challenging and rocky ride that goes by several old mines to nearly the top of the Beaverhead Mountains on the Idaho-Montana border. There are several high mountain lakes on the Montana side where an ambitious person could hike over to catch some fresh trout.

Moving on to the trails in SE Idaho, we feature two rides in the Mecham Hollow area, north of Montpelier. There is an 8-mile intermediate loop that provides an introduction to the area, and a 25-mile loop, called the Mecham Hollow-Sherman Peak Loop, which is more advanced. Both rides are open to motorbikes and ATVs.

Local Ranger Dennis Deurhen shared a nifty 22-mile ride we called the Paris Canyon-Highline Trail Loop.
On this ride, you can visit the Paris Ice Caves, and do a brief side hike to Bloomington Lake for fishing or a quick dip on a hot summer day, and finish the loop. Here's the trip map.
Paris Ice Caves
Paris Ice Caves 
Hope you can carve out some time this summer to explore these rides or others on our site.

Have fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Adena Cook - Thank you for your public service

Adena Cook
Hi all,

We wanted to share the news that Adena Cook, longtime public lands director for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, has died. Funeral services will be held on Friday in Boise.

Adena helped the Idaho OHV Public Outreach Campaign a couple of years ago by wrapping up a session on trail ethics with some helpful thoughts about the responsible shared use of trails. Here is a short video of her remarks:

Here is the news release from the Blue Ribbon Coalition about Adena's many achievements for the group over many years. Adena was a well-respected advocate for OHV trail access on public lands. We send our condolences to her family.


BOISE, ID (April 6, 2012) -- The OHV community joins together today in mourning the loss of one of its greatest activists. On Thursday, April 5th, 2012, Adena Cook--one of the original founders of the BlueRibbon Coalition--passed away.

Adena will be sorely missed, both by those that knew her, and by the recreation community to whom she gave so much.. She will forever be in our hearts and thoughts, and her legacy of dedication, perseverance and determination will live on.

Ms. Cook was amongst those that aided founder, Clark Collins, in turning the Idaho Public Land User's Association into a national organization, re-titled the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC). She served as the newly created group's volunteer secretary until 1989, at which point she became the group's first Public Lands Director, and the second paid staff member.

Adena worked tirelessly in her role as Public Lands Director for the coalition and was a strong advocate for protecting recreational access to public lands. She was among the first to establish the ties to land-managers and agencies that still help BlueRibbon in its vital role to this day. She also had a pivotal role in the efforts of Clark Collins to create a network of grassroots groups and individuals. A network that has become the heart and soul of the organization as it is today.

Always pushing to modernize the Coalition and advance our methods of communication, Adena was instrumental in the Coalition's keeping up with the pace of technology. In her own words, " we were growing, achieving, and improving grassroots recreation activism, communication technology was changing the world. It primed all those pumps in all those springs that flowed into the creeks and rivers. We were among the first to use every bit of it...our timing was right on."

As part of her relentless drive to improve the Coalition and make it into a powerful tool for recreational advocacy, Adena initiated some of the earliest contacts with the legal firm of Moore-Smith-Buxton & Turcke, the firm that would eventually be integral to the BlueRibbon Legal Program.

In the Coalition's first Supreme Court victory-defeating a lawsuit filed against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)-Adena would later say, "I could never have imagined that, a few years after those meager beginnings, we would participate in a case that won before the Supreme Court. Our legal team is now one of the most important parts of BRC."

In 2002, Adena Cook retired as Public Lands Director, but stayed on in a volunteer capacity as the Coalition's Senior Policy Advisor. She will be deeply missed by those that worked closely with her:

“Adena was absolutely crucial to the BlueRibbon Coalition’s evolution as a nationally recognized recreation advocacy group. Her hard work and dedication was an inspiration to me personally and to grass roots recreation access activists across the nation. No one has had more of a positive impact on back-country recreation than Adena.”
Clark Collins, BRC founder

"Adena was a true innovator in the field of recreation advocacy. I feel a deep personal loss at the news of her passing. Adena was my friend, mentor, and colleague and I will miss her. The recreation community lost an iconic champion. I mourn with many others today at this news."
Don Amador, BRC Western Representative

"The public lands community will miss a pioneer and champion in Adena Cook. Her keen insight helped create BlueRibbon's legal program and give recreationists a voice they lacked before agencies and courts. She was quick, efficient and genuine in her thoughts and was respected even by those with differing views. Not only recreationists but the public lands community should take a quiet moment to reflect on the gifts Adena brought and the legacy she hoped to build."
Paul Turcke, lead counsel for the BRC Legal Team

"It is a sad day. We are all the better for having known Adena. Few ever achieve the level of excellence she demonstrated in her life and in her work. I am proud to say that generations to come will share the benefit of her efforts. I am blessed to have been able to call her my friend and colleague.."
Greg Mumm, BRC Executive Director

"I believe there is a bit of Adena's legacy in all of us who remain behind working in advocacy roles to keep the public lands open for people to use. I will carry with me the knowledge and skills she helped me develop over the years. Others will benefit through the years from her research and from the environment created by her presence. Despite her dogged tenacity, she was every inch a lady.....all the time, on her beloved snowmobile or in the courtroom and the boardroom. She continues to be a role model into the future and I will miss her."
Joni Mogstad, BRC President

Reflecting on her short biography on the BlueRibbon Coalition website, we cannot help but find it woefully inadequate to describe the wonderful, vibrant woman who had such a large hand in the Coalition's creation and growth. Therein she states her goal as being, "To shape public policy in support of diverse recreation on public lands." In truth, her goal was the same as that of the Coalition itself. It is an ongoing goal. She achieved it with grit and determination, and we will continue to achieve it in her memory.

Rest in peace, Adena. You remain with us forever.

(end news release)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Try Idaho's new interactive OHV trail map -- a great trip-planning tool with many features


Idaho Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Public Outreach Campaign

Contact: Steve Stuebner, 208-484-0295, or Jennifer Okerlund, communications manager, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, 208-514-2254

BOISE - (March 21,2012) – ATV, motorbike, UTV and 4WD enthusiasts now have a handy online resource available for finding new places to ride in Idaho. It's called the Idaho OHV online map. The web address is:

With a few clicks, users can zoom into areas of Idaho where they want to find OHV trails, determine what types of motorized uses are allowed, season of use, get driving directions to the trailhead and more. People can export the trails to Google Earth or to their GPS devices for quick reference when they're out riding the trails, and they can share trail maps with their friends. The trail map also provides information on non-motorized trails.

"The maps are designed to help OHV riders find places to ride in Idaho, and that's exactly what they do," said Troy Elmore, Idaho OHV Program Manager for IDPR.

"It's really a useful tool for motorcyclists and recreationists," says Mark Weaver of Kuna, president of Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association. "And it shows how proactive IDPR is in providing the tools for people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and legally."

Idaho is the first state to provide an interactive online mapping resource of this kind, Elmore said. "This is a first. We are the first state to produce an interactive Google-based statewide online trail map. It's been a lot of work putting it together. We've had some bugs to work out, but we're pretty excited about it now."

Click on a part of Idaho, and the online map zooms into the trail networks that exist in the area. People can zoom into a particular trail, learn the name of the trail, the trail number, and the online map tells you what kind of trail it is through color coding (motorcycle, ATV, jeep trail, non-motorized trail, road, etc.). It tells you how long the trail segment is, what season of use is allowed, and more.

Creating a map with a downloadable GPS route is a bonus, Weaver says. "I think that's going to be a really wonderful feature," Weaver said. "With the GPS tracks from a route, there will be less likelihood of someone getting lost out there."

The online maps provide a diversity of viewing opportunities for checking out Idaho's trails and roads. People can choose from an aerial photography view, topographic map view, terrain map view, or a hybrid view.

Several years in the making, the interactive online map was produced by the staff at the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation with assistance from the Idaho Department of Administration, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The project was funded with OHV registration sticker money.

The maps provide a quick view of when particular trails are open or closed during the spring, summer and fall riding season for ATVs, motorbikes, UTVs and 4WD vehicles. This information also is available on U.S. Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs), and Bureau of Land Management travel management maps.

"This feature is a great informational tool for OHV users," Elmore said. "To research when trails are open and closed with MVUMs, travel management plans and Idaho Fish and Game big game regulations, it can take many hours to figure that stuff out. The online maps will make it much easier for OHV riders to check on when particular trails and roads are open or closed."

The Idaho OHV online map also provides information about nonmotorized trails and road networks throughout the state. The maps have a tool for creating your own personal route measuring the distance of particular trail segments or loops that people might want to explore.

"It's going to be a great tool for recreationists to plan trips and explore new trails that they've never experienced before," Elmore said.

About the Idaho OHV Public Outreach Campaign: To help raise awareness about the importance of OHVs staying on trails, five state and federal agencies in Idaho work on a statewide campaign called the Idaho Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) Public Outreach Campaign. The campaign encourages riders to ride safe, responsibly and reduce their impact on the land and other trail users. See for more information.

About the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation: The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation manages 30 state parks. It also runs the registration and recreation programs for snowmobiles, boats and off-highway vehicles. IDPR provides yurt and cabin rentals, winter and summer non-motorized trails, and manages outdoor grant programs that provide facilities and services to a wide variety of recreationists and the local government and nongovernment organizations that serve them.


Monday, January 30, 2012

A new year means it's time to renew OHV registration stickers for your trail machines

Hi all,

Well, it's that time of year again -- time to buy a new registration sticker for your trail machine for 2012. Off-highway vehicle owners are receiving reminder notices in the mail this month.

OHV registration stickers are required in the state of Idaho for ATVs, UTVs, motorbikes and specialty OHVs such as dune buggies. The stickers cost $12 per year.

The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation provides an online registration portal on its web site for straight renewals. If changes have occurred to the vehicle owner's name, or if the make and model have changed on your trail machine, then you'll need to renew your registration at an IDPR office, IDPR vendor, county DMV office or mail them in.

If you'd like to ride your trail machine on city or county roads as part of your trail ride, you'll also need to purchase a restricted vehicle license plate from a county DMV office, if you don't have one already. These license plates cost $3 and they're valid for 7 years. "It's a small price for peace of mind," says Rich Gummersall, OHV Education Coordinator for IDPR.

Basically, the OHV registration stickers are required for the use of OHVs on U.S. Forest Service, BLM and state land trails. The OHV restricted vehicle license plates are required for riding an OHV on city or county roads.

If you have any questions about the OHV vehicle registration and licensing process, please see this educational YouTube video, which details each step of the process, and explains where registration stickers and license plates should be placed on your trail machine.

If you register your OHV in another state, it's legal to ride in Idaho.

OHV registration stickers are a great investment for OHV riders because a large portion of the fees are funneled into the upkeep of motorized trail systems in Idaho and about $300,000 of the fees go toward new grant projects to create new trails, trailheads, rest rooms, bridges and more.

The IDPR Trail Rangers program, profiled in this blog last fall, typically clears about 1,500 miles of trails throughout the state on Forest Service and state lands. The Trail Rangers are funded by OHV registration sticker fees.

The sticker fees also help support the IDPR OHV Education Program. This program is even more valuable now that the Idaho Legislature passed a law last year requiring all unlicensed drivers to take an OHV education class before riding on national forest roads in Idaho. The classes are free. Have your kids taken the class yet?

Hope you have a great riding season in 2012! Be safe out there!